Getting to Know God

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  [Mt 11-28-29

Restful meditation for the active life

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The greatest source of peace, joy, enthusiasm, generosity, and love, 
and consequently, 
the greatest cure for worry, depression, greed and hatred 
knowing and believing with wavering that God truly is 
who God says God is in the Scriptures!

   The Spiritual Disciplines of Laity
and their Strategies to be 

               To learn more:  click here


    The Spiritual Disciplines of Eugene Peterson, 
    Translator of The Message.     
    In the summer of 2009, I meet Eugene Person while I was
    training Montana pastors and church leaders in emotional self-
    regulation and in self-talk awareness.     On the last day of 
    our training,  Eugene Peterson led a morning conversation 
    for Montana  pastors. The pastors and church leaders in our 
    program were invited. This took place at Flathead Presbyterian 
    Camp  and Retreat Center in Montana near Eugene’s home. 

    Context of our Training and the Colloquium with Eugene   

    Our training helps a person realize that they are 100% 
    responsible before God for the thoughts that they allow to nest 
    in their minds and are equally responsible to regulate their anger 
    and anxiety and challenge and reverse  any hopeless thinking 
    they might entertain. 

    This growth in self-awareness leads to a greater awareness of
    the responsibility as Christians for what we think, do and say.
    It has  proven to be highly effective--based on feedback--in 
    assisting the Holy Spirit to convict participants of many 
    heretofore unconfessed sins.  These damaging-to-relationships, 
    yet seemingly “unknown” sins [Psalm 19:12]  fortunately are clearly 
    grounded in Jesus’  preaching and the epistles and more often
    than not already clearly echoed in the Old Testament. The prayer 
    and spiritual disciplines workbook, Getting to Know God, 
    provides a good summary of God’s word about many of these 
    sins and Jesus’ call to repentance.
    Given this context, it was a great honor and a great joy to 
    be part of the conversations with Eugene, who himself has a 
    clear idea of what being a pastor means and the centrality of 
    healthy, Scripture informed, trusting relationships between 
    a pastor and the congregation.  Clearly, such relationships 
    require a high degree of emotional self-regulation. Clearly,
    Eugene would add that they require a pastor to spend quality 
    time each day in conversation with God over God’s word.

    Moreover, from that colloquium with Eugene, it was clear that
    while he might state it differently, he would find nothing contrary 
    to the notion that an aware and humble repentance of one’s  sins 
    opens  that person (pastor) to an abundant flow of grace that 
    better equips them for building trustworthy relationships. In the 
    training I do,  I would add that it also enables that person (pastor) 
    to hear the Holy Spirit call  them to have the mind of  Christ 24/7. 
    See [See Phil 2:5 in the context of 2:1-8]. In our training, I 
    teach that humbly and joyously accepting the call to know and 
    to do the will of God 24/7 with the mind of Christ is the   
    beginning of truly meaningful change; it is the beginning of 
    living intentionally the promised new creation in Christ. Of 
    course, I add that that can only be done by the power of  the 
    indwelling Holy Spirit and a humble heart that believes God’s
    promise of new life in Christ are true. 
    (To learn more about the training and its effectiveness,  click on 
    Testimonies and/or  My Daily Bread.  

    Daily Spiritual Disciplines and Having the Mind of Christ

    During the colloquium  I asked Eugene if he did daily 
    spiritual disciplines. I asked him because I did not know, 
    no one seemed to know and I was convinced that he must have 
    set aside time to be with God. In my limited experience and 
    understanding  of God’s ways, God generally reveals himself to 
    those who humbly and sincerely take time to listen to God 
    speak to them through the Scriptures. 

    Based on his work as a pastor and his works, I believed that 
    Eugene had to have intentionally carved out  time to be with 
    God alone. How else, I wondered, would he have been able and 
    enabled by the Spirit to translate the Scriptures into a language 
    that a person of today easily grasps. Indeed, his labour in God’s 
    word as expressed in The Message  has allowed the Holy Spirit 
    to lead many to repentance of their sins and to begin a new walk 
    with God by hearing God’s word  in their spoken colloquial 
    language.  Just like Jesus did. 

    Question to me: If that was in the summer of 2009, why are 
    you only posting his important reply now?

    Me: It was only this summer (2010) at the last of four scheduled 
    retreats that our paths crossed again and that I had a chance to 
    verify if I had heard him correctly.  

    What follows is that conversation with Eugene Peterson. 

   Question: Do you have a set of spiritual disciplines that you 
    practice each day?

    Eugene:  Yes.    

    Q: Would you mind sharing that with us?

    Eugene:  Well, I am an early riser.  I have always been an early 
    riser.  I get up about two hours before anyone else.  What I do in 
    those two hours is that I read the Scriptures thoughtfully for 
    about 90 minutes. In the last 30 minutes,  I write down what I 
    think God was trying to say to me.  I did that for 30 years years, 
    every day during my ministry.  That is what I call, time in 
    conversation with God.  
    When I leave that conversation, I then begin my spiritual 
    My first spiritual discipline is to see the first person that I meet 
    as a child of God. And I strive to practice that spiritual discipline 
    with each person that I meet all day long.


    Your Comments: Let us know if this brief, personal 
    witness by Eugene about his spiritual disciplines has 
    inspired you to be more intentional and disciplined 
    (1) about spending time in  conversation with God each 
    day, and (2) about seeing each person you meet as a child 
    of God, worthy of utmost respect and consideration.  
    Email your story with your name to: 
    If your witness is chosen, your story may be slightly edited 
    before posting. Receipt of your email will be considered as 
    permission to post, so be diligent before your click “send.” 
    You remain the author.

    My Hope: My hope is that Eugene’s spiritual disciplines
    will inspire you and, by your passing it on, inspire other  
    Christians to  be intentional and disciplined about spending 
    thoughtful time in God’s word and to humbly take written notes 
    on what you  believe that God is saying to you. Clearly, humbly 
    journaling with the Spirit about God’s word, God’s two edged 
    sword,  has helped people to allow God’s word to penetrate 
    more deeply, in that place where spirit, soul and flesh unite.
    Therefore, if indeed you have been captured by the vision 
    that a truly vitalized Christian life is to know and to do the 
    will of God 24/7 with the mind of Christ,  I strongly 
    recommend that you humbly and gratefully begin to journal 
    with God over God’s word on a daily basis. 

    The Spiritual Disciplines of Pastors
and their Strategies  to be 

                 To learn more:  click here